Church Risk Paper

Topics: Christian group structuring, Local church Pages: 9 (2893 words) Published: May 5, 2012


DSMN 505


March 9, 2012


Examining the Essential Need for Administration

Administration in the church is an essential part of creating order, it allows the pastoral ministries, to take place. Without some organized form of administration, ministry or pastoral work, as we know it, would be very difficult to achieve. For a church to try to make a determination for or against having an active administration should only serve as a formality. For a church to function without an active administrative role in the 21st century would be quite difficult indeed. As Welch points out in Church Administration: Creating Efficiency for Effective Ministry, administration (or management of the church) is not an optional piece we can choose to include or not include, it exists whether we as church staff decide to acknowledge it or not.[1] Welch examines this in detail, from scripture, which includes 1 Corinthians 12:28 where it clearly states that “God has placed these in the church” as a necessary element of the church body.[2]

Welch points out many other biblical examples of why administration is an important element of the church, but he clearly states why when he says that administration is “to define and set forth the purposes, aims, objectives, and goals of the church.”[3] It would be hard to imagine a church in our current day, culture, and times, without a proper administrative setup. Administrative roles have become specialized today, especially in larger churches, where individuals can, and do, carry out a selective administrative duty such as information technology, communications, or marketing. It is no longer the sole task of the “Church Administrator” to wear every administrative hat on the church staff, but to manage teams of administrators doing specialized duties with specific skill sets. In this assessment, we will look at the different aspects of church administration, and then examine how these administrative pieces impact a local church body in Norfolk, Virginia, called Aletheia Church (Norfolk).

Does Administration Help or Hinder Ministry?

Welch put forth some interesting survey statistics early on when he discussed what position a senior pastor would choose to assist him in ministry. Only slightly more than 1% designated administration as their current need. When this was extended out to personal interviews with local pastors in a growing, active church, the responses were similar in nature, but more mixed to reflect a 21st century church. With the exact same question posed, it was extended to a position that would include someone with not only a ministry background, but one that could handle administrative tasks as well, but only out of necessity.

Administration is sometimes seen as the “necessary evil.” However, administration is a needed area of the church body, but one that is often misunderstood, and seen by some as part of the body that hinders ministry work, but it can, in some ways, hinder ministry. It controls the budgetary process, which in many ways determines what ministry can and can’t do as far as outreach, expansion, events for the church, and even payroll and staffing issues. Where senior pastors are often gifted in their position, they are not always gifted in administration, so in a way it becomes a check and balance for the church body as a plurality of elders, some of which are caring for this area of the church so that the whole can function properly. That becomes the main area where administration helps the church body, in keeping it balanced. Because administration is often referred to as the “necessary evil” it can be the neglected side of...

Bibliography: Akin, Daniel, James Leo Garrett Jr., Robert L. Reymond, James R. White, and Paul F. M. Zahl. Perspectives on Church Government: 5 Views. 1st Edition. Edited by Chad Owen Brand and R. Stanton Norman. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2004.
McClintock, Karen A. Preventing Sexual Abuse in Congregations; A Resource for Leaders. 1st Edition. Herndon, VA: The Alban Institute, 2004.
Welch, Robert H. Church Administration; Creating Efficiency for Effective Ministry. 1st Edition. Vol. I. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2005.
[4] Welch, Robert H. Welch, Church Administration: Creating Efficiency for Effective Ministry, Kindle Edition (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2005), 47-48.
[8] Daniel Akin, James Leo Garrett Jr., Robert L. Reymond, James R. White and Paul F. M. Zahl, Perspectives on Church Government: 5 Views, 1st Edition, ed. Chad Owen Brand and R. Stanton Norman (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2004), 3.
[9] Robert H. Welch, Church Administration; Creating Efficiency for Effective Ministry, 1st Edition, Vol. I (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2005), 260.
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